EastEnders spoilers: Johnny to make shock announcement to the Carters – first look pictures

Does Johnny's news signal the end of actor Sam Strike's time on the BBC1 soap?

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Viewers can expect plenty of long-held secrets to be spilled in the Christmas episodes of EastEnders, but one unforeseen shock comes in the form of Johnny, who surprises his family with an announcement. But what will Johnny’s news mean for the rest of the Carter clan?

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Fans already know that actor Sam Strike – who has been in the soap for 12 months – is to exit EastEnders and has already completed filming on the set in Elstree.

Bosses are remaining tight lipped on exactly how Johnny will leave the show, but a spokesperson told RadioTimes.com last November: “We can confirm that Sam will be leaving EastEnders. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Strike received critical and popular acclaim earlier in the year when Johnny told dad Mick that he was gay. Speaking about the coming out storyline, the actor said: “I was really nervous the night it aired because you want it to look convincing and to do justice by the people that have been there and done it.

“It was a real proving ground for me because it was the first time I actually had to do any proper drama acting. I’ve had letters and Danny’s had letters saying that we’d helped people to come out and it makes things worth it.”

The moving moment resulted in EastEnders winning the Media Recognition award at October’s Attitude Awards. Former EastEnders star Michelle Collins presented the prize to Strike and Dyer and described the plot as, “one of the most perfectly conceived gay storylines ever portrayed on British television.”

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Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below: